POPS OUT, GORDON IN AS GB NAME EURO SQUAD

Pops Mensah-Bonsu is out of this summer’s Eurobasket finals. However Detroit Pistons guard Ben Gordon has been named in Great Britain’s 17-man preliminary squad for Lithuania.

Mensah-Bonsu, the London-born forward who was the star of last summer’s qualifying campaign, has been forced to withdraw after undergoing surgery on a shoulder injury he sustained during the French League play-offs last month.

“I am very disappointed to not be participating in this summer’s activities with the GB team,” he said.

“But I am also confident in the coaches and the players representing GB, and I know that they will do the country proud. Although it will be difficult to watch, I will be supporting the team along the way, hoping and praying for the best.”

Archibald will return after a two-year absence to boost the side’s hopes in tandem with his Malaga team-mate Joel Freeland. While Gordon is in line to finally make his debut after a number of previous withdrawals.

Finch also includes a trio of players from Mersey Tigers’ BBL title winning side, including the GB captain Drew Sullivan.

“Each summer one of our goals is to get our best talent together,” he said. “In addition, we are constantly looking to work with younger players and continue to evaluate those who we see as real contenders to help us now and for years to come.

“This collection of players accomplishes these objectives. Now it’s incumbent on our guys to continue to make the commitment to our programme, and arrive at Cobham in peak shape determined to take GB to a new level.”

The one major surprise is the inclusion of Laurence Ekperigin, a New York-born small forward who spent part of last season with Italian side Angelico Biella after averaging 8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game for the Denver Nuggets in the 2010 NBA Summer League.

GB squad: Kieron Achara (Barcellona), Ogo Adegboye (St Bonaventure), Robert Archibald, Joel Freeland (both Malaga),  Eric Boateng (Austin Toros), Flinder Boyd (AEK Athens), Matt Bryan-Amaning (Washington), Dan Clark (Estudiantes), Luol Deng (Chicago Bulls), Laurence Ekperigin (Biella), Ben Gordon (Detroit Pistons), Ashley Hamilton (Loyola Marymount), James Jones, Nate Reinking, Drew Sullivan (all Mersey Tigers), Mike Lenzly (Nymburk), Justin Robinson (Rider University)

 

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